Texas GOP Reaches Agreement In Corporate Money Probe

The Republican Party of Texas avoided prosecution Thursday by reaching an agreement with the Travis County Attorney’s Office as part of an investigation into how the GOP spent $5.7 million in corporate money during the 2002 state elections.

The case is similar to a long-running review by Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, as a result of which Congressman Tom DeLay has been indicted on conspiracy and money laundering charges.

The Republican from Sugar Land says he's innocent.

GOP officials say their practices were appropriate, ethical and could withstand the scrutiny of an investigation.

The GOP agreed to stop spending corporate money in some of the ways it did in 2002, including expenditures on political consulting, issue advertising and get-out-the-vote activity such as telephone banks.

Travis County Attorney David Escamilla says that GOP spending may have violated the Texas Election Code.